Bartholin’s cysts are relatively common: 2% of females will have one. A few years ago, I think I did. I was around fourteen at the time and it was agony. I popped it, the cyst got badly infected, and it swelled to the size of a golf ball. I couldn’t concentrate in school, I could barely walk. Still, I couldn’t tell my mother. Or my doctor. Or even bring myself to google it. I was terrified to have that cyst and I was terrified that my pain was my fault because I tampered with it. I had never felt more trapped and dirty and embarrassed by my body. Now, perhaps I can almost see it for what it was: a natural illness, the same as any other infection. However I cannot rid myself of that old shame unless I talk about it. So my poem is me, saying that I would like to- that I need to- talk about vulvas and cysts and the things we talk around.